Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy Newsletter June 2015

Dear colleagues,

We have decided to circulate a brief newsletter of follow-up news on the issues raised in our recent Open Letter, along with other related developments in the psy field with which the Alliance is concerned. We are planning a regular, though infrequent news update for the future.

• Psychological therapy located in Jobcentres

Following our Guardian letter, a group of therapist, psychologist, disability and social security benefits campaigners met in May to discuss working together to protest at the prospect of coercive therapy and mental health treatment being located in Jobcentres. The meeting supported and has circulated the Mental Health Resistance Network’s open letter on the issue, as well as the protest at Streatham Jobcentre Plus on Friday, 26th June.

Please take a look at the Open Letter and circulate it among interested colleagues. Join us on the 26th if you can. See the MHRN Facebook page for newsreel coverage of campaigning around DWP policies and mental health – here.

There has been considerable media and professional response to the growing thrust by the Government to link social security benefits, mental health and IAPT style psychological therapies within the toxic context of Jobcentres, WCA’s and benefits sanctions. See, for example, this excellent piece by Lynne Friedli and Robert Stearn. Professional bodies are beginning to publicly address the ethical issues raised by “get to work” therapy – eg BACP, BPS.

The Alliance is building a resource and news update section on its website on this issue, and will circulate links when its available.

Meanwhile, please contact us with any developments, ideas, relevant resources from your networks –

The Alliance is joining the People’s Assembly march against Austerity in London this Saturday – 20th June – under its new banner. Join us at 12 noon outside Jo Malone, 24 Royal Exchange Building at Bank.

• Open Letter from the UK-Palestine Mental Health Network concerning the 2015 conference of the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists in Israel

Counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and other mental health professionals are being asked to sign an Open Letter for newspaper publication asking people to think twice before attending this conference. The request is written in terms that reflect the sensibilities of some therapists when it comes to signing such a letter. Along with the letter, there is a good deal of information and reflection about the whole situation.